Archive for December, 2015

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise Categories & Modifications

December 15, 2015

This week we’re talking categories of activities, being creative and modifying what you need to to ensure you are actively ageing.

There are three main categories of physical activity:

  • fitness activities (endurance and/or interval activities) (undertaken to increase heart rate therefore strengthening your heart and improving your lung capacity) eg brisk walking / jogging, bicycle riding, swimming, aerobic classes etc.
  •  strength training activities (undertaken to build/maintain muscle density and build/maintain strength – also beneficial for increasing/maintaining metabolic rate which is the rate you burn up energy) resistance exercise, therabands, body weight exercises, lifting weights, pilates, etc
  •  balance, mobility and flexibility (stretching) activities (undertaken to improve/maintain flexibility, balance and mobility) tai chi, yoga, stretching classes,  joint and muscle flexibility and range of movement stretching

More benefits will be achieved if you do a mixture of the three categories during your week.  Even though some people may benefit more from one area than another have a variety of activities to cover all basis and keep your interest up with the variety these categories offer.

There are so many ways to be physically active these days that really there is no excuse to get up and about, and move.  Even those people who are wheelchair bound have many options to choose from.  Its  never too late to start moving it… anyone at any age can reap the physical, social and mental benefits of regular, moderate physical activity.

Get creative and have fun because exercise benefits much more than just the body — you can also improve your mental and emotional health by maintaining an active life. And if you have fun while you’re being active, chances are you’ll want to continue participating in that activity.

While you’re getting creative you can always modify more traditional exercises so you are getting great benefits eg:    Traditional push-ups are a great way to work muscles in the arms, shoulders, and chest, however, they can be difficult to complete correctly. You can modify this exercise and still get benefits by doing wall push-ups. Face a blank wall while standing about arm’s length away, lean forward, and press your palms flat against the wall. Bend your arms and slowly bring your upper body toward the wall, hold for a moment, and push yourself back until your arms are straight again. Do a set of 10 reps, rest, and repeat another set.

It is always advised that you check with your local GP prior to commencing any new physical activity or if you have stopped physical activity because of a new health issue and wish to resume it.

I also suggest that you get guidance from a qualified and registered Exercise Professional.  Come and have a FREE session with us at Coffs Coast Health Club.  Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 to organise.

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Spinach & Strawberry Salad

December 10, 2015




Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise as Medicine

December 8, 2015


Here is a concept that I really want you to consider, I want you to view exercise and being active as medicine, a dose of goodness to manage your health, weight and wellness.  It has been proven over and over that as a preventative measure to ill health and as a ‘cure’ for a lot of ailments, exercise is the best medicine around.

So if we know that this ‘medicine’ called exercise can have such a positive effect on our well being then why isn’t everyone taking their daily dose?   Who knows maybe fear, laziness or indecision?  Here’s some help.

Start with a goal and see your goal as being your dessert – something you’re really looking forward to but you need to earn it.   Get to your goal in small bite size pieces. If your goal is to drop 20kg then plot some smaller increments in your calendar rather than the big figure down the track.

Make sure you get your exercise dosage correct so get some guidance.  It is important to know how much exercise should be ‘absorbed’ to give you the maximum benefit for your goal.  Exercise should be prescribed in a specific dose you know that works for you including type, intensity, frequency and duration.  Definitely sample different types of exercise medicine, until you’ve found what ‘medicinal remedy’ fits best with you or is easiest to swallow.   Basically make sure the exercise you ‘take’ is something you enjoy and something that is going to help you get to your goal.

Make a commitment to your health, yourself and your future. Taking a daily dose of  exercise medicine in some way nearly every day will lead to a positive lifestyle change and a very healthy habit

So if you decide you want to get a dose of one of the best medicines for your health, call me, “Dr” Glen, at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 and we can organise a FREE prescription to get you started.

21 tips to stay healthy over the festive season

December 6, 2015


1.  P-a-r-t-y wisely

You may have a stack of party invitations but you don’t need to attend them all. Too many of us wear busyness like a badge of honour, when really it just saps our energy. Choose the most important events to attend and only go to these.

2.  Sign-up for fitness

Maintain your fitness (and health) throughout December by registering for a fitness event in early 2015. This will motivate you to stay active during the party season.

3.  Succeed with salads

US nutritionist Barbara Rolls suggests filling up on low-kilojoule food such as salad to reduce the amount you eat when out.

4.  Exchange drinks for kilometres

Make a deal with yourself before you enjoy a drink with friends: for every alcoholic drink you consume, you must walk or run one kilometre the following day. A good incentive not to drink too much!

5.  Start eating last

Research shows eating out with seven or more people will see you eat 50% more than if you had eaten on your own. Solve this problem by being the slowest eater – be the last to start eating and the last to stop.

6.  Reflect and re-evaluate

The end of the year should be a time to reflect on your achievements throughout the year and to conduct a re-evaluation of your goals. This will give you a sense of self-fulfilment, self-worth and purpose, which are both important for a happy and healthy mind.

7.  Dance the night away

Put on those dancing shoes! Dancing for one hour burns approximately 1200kJ. Parties can be more than shovelling food and alcohol into your mouth – make it a fun aerobics session with your friends and kids.

8.  Be sensible with your weight

December is not the month to focus on weight loss. Focus instead on weight maintenance and you’ll enjoy the festive season without the guilt.

9.  Try the slow food revolution

The slow food revolution is about knowing your food – where it has come from and how it is grown. This festive season, head to your local farmers’ markets and stock up on fresh wholefoods.

10.  Active catch-up

Nobody said Christmas functions have to revolve around a buffet or a bar, so change your Christmas party to a day of round-robin tennis or even a game of lawn bowls. Get everyone to bring a healthy dish to share.

11.  Downsize the plates

Be like Goldilocks and eat off the smallest plate you can find. Research shows the larger the plate, the more food dished up and the more food eaten. If you’re at a buffet, be sure to keep an eye on the serving utensils, too – a larger serving spoon can see you dish up 15% more food that if you had used a smaller spoon.

12.  Wear tight clothes

Skinny jeans or other items of clothing that fit you snugly are a great device for avoiding overeating. It’s extremely uncomfortable trying to sit and move in tight clothes when your stomach is almost bursting out. Your waist circumference is also a great indicator of your risk of developing ill health or disease.

13.  Cut laps at the shopping centre

Christmas shopping cannot be avoided, so work with it. Throw on the joggers, and pace your way down your shopping list. Bonus points for parking in the furthest spot from the supermarket entrance – in fact, this should be your goal every time you shop.

14.  Get enough shut-eye

With all the partying, don’t forget the importance of sleep. Sleep is time for your body to rest and repair, and inadequate sleep can interfere with your internal body clock. Growing research shows a link between a lack of sleep and weight-gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of accidents. Aim for between 7–8 hours sleep each night.

15.  Use tall, skinny glasses

Reduce the amount of kilojoules you drink by choosing tall, skinny glasses. A study by Brian Wansink, a US professor in consumer behaviour and nutritional science, found that people pour 20–30% more alcohol into wide, short tumblers than tall slender glasses holding the same volume. Similar results have also been found when pouring breakfast juice.

16.  Use (wo)man power

Burn kilojoules in the kitchen by preparing your Christmas meals from scratch. Make your own mince tarts or cranberry sauce. Not only will you burn kilojoules while you cook, you’ll get a fantastic sense of accomplishment and will save money too. For extra fun, involve the whole family.

17.  Take some ‘me’ time

Remain sane throughout December by taking time out to relax and revive. Once a week, schedule in some alone time. You’ll feel much better for it.

18.  Eat your favourite Christmas foods

Enjoying your favourite Christmas foods is a must! Indulge in the mince tarts, tantalise your taste buds with the trifle and crunch through the crackle. Chocolates, lollies and chips are available all year round so don’t go crazy – limit yourself to 1–2 of your favourites, then leave the rest for someone else.

19.  Absorb the fat

If all the finger-food at the party is deep-fried or dripping in oil, grab a few napkins and dab the food dry. Removing some of the excess fat will remove some of the kilojoules, too. Need proof that this works? Have a good look at the napkin when you’re done – all that fat could be in your stomach instead.

20.  Be prepared

Go to the party with a plan. Your plan should include the number of drinks you wish to drink, an idea of the food you intend to eat, and the intention of enjoying the company more than the food. You don’t have to be obsessive, but some forward planning can help you manage your weight and control alcohol consumption.

21.  Don’t let one bad meal ruin your week

Don’t let one big meal or an over-indulgent party derail your health for the rest of the week (or year!). The key to maintaining good health is to get back on track from the very next meal. If you’ve had a massive lunch, have a salad or omelette for dinner. If you’ve had too much to drink, resist the fry-up for breakfast and get back on track with some wholegrain toast and fruit. One meal isn’t enough to make your clothes tighter, whereas a whole week of bad eating really can have an impact.

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Flounder Fillet with Dill

December 3, 2015